Ritanna Armeni was born in Brindisi on July 12, 1947.
She is married, has a daughter and two grandchildren.
She began as a journalist in the 1970s at Noi donne, Udi’s weekly, then moved on to the Manifesto, of which she was among the first editors. Later, after a brief experience at the weekly Peace and War, she worked at the Asca agency and then at the weekly Rinascita directed by Alberto Asor Rosa, and then for nine years at L’Unità. In these newspapers she dealt with social, political and cultural issues. She was a parliamentary journalist for many years.
She interrupted her journalistic work in 1998 when she became, head of the press office of Rifondazione Comunista and spokeswoman for secretary Fausto Bertinotti. She resumed it in 2004 with the hosting on La 7 of Otto e mezzo together with Giuliano Ferrara. She has also hosted many broadcasts on Radio 3. She has written for Il Mondo, Sette, Io donna, Anna and other daily and weekly newspapers. She has been a columnist for L’Unità, Riformista and Liberazione; Il Caffè, Il Foglio, Il Messaggero di Sant’Antonio, Rocca and L’Osservatore Romano. She is a columnist on many Rai1 broadcasts. She has particularly dealt with the “women’s question” in all its aspects. Her books include La colpa delle donne, Prime donne, Parola di donna, Devi augurarti che la strada sia lunga (with Fausto Bertinotti and Rina Gagliardi), Due pacifisti e un generale (together with Emanuele Giordana) Lo squalo e il dinosauro, Di questo amore non si deve sapere, the story of Inessa and Lenin.
In 2018, “A Woman Can Do Anything” (Ponte alle Grazie) was released, and in 2020, “Mara. A woman of the twentieth century” (Ponte alle Grazie, 2020). Instead, 2021 saw the publication, again for Ponte alle Grazie, of “For the Road is Happiness.”
Her latest novel is “The Second Floor” (Ponte alle Grazie, 2023).
Il secondo piano
Ponte alle Grazie
Ritanna Armeni, with her usual rigorous and profound enthusiasm, traverses a crucial passage in our History and gives substance to an exemplary story about courage and sisterhood, strength and creativity, joy, fear, and resistance.
In a suburban Franciscan convent, amidst the scents of the garden and a new neighborhood under construction, Sister Ignazia and her sisters find themselves in the surreal situation of housing a German infirmary on the ground floor and, on the second floor, some families who miraculously escaped the Ghetto roundup. Separating them, only a staircase and the mild audacity of those who do not hesitate to put themselves on the line to the end. Rome, in the last year of the war, is not “open city.” The Germans, on the verge of defeat, grip it in an increasingly ruthless grip, the Allies struggle to arrive, the Romans fight paying with blood for every act of rebellion. In a city destroyed by starvation, bombs, and terror, Jews are persecuted, deported, killed, as the most dangerous and truest of enemies. And the Church? While the Nazi surrender is being negotiated in secret in the Vatican and the pontiff chooses, more or less openly, the path of caution, holy places open to welcome – defying the rules and even some commandments – those in need.
Per strada è la felicità
Ponte alle Grazie
Rosa is a good provincial girl who arrives in Rome in her twenties with the goal of graduating and finding a job. But we are on the eve of Sixty-eight and the ferment of revolt dwells everywhere: in the avenues of the university, on the banners of the piazzas, at the gates of the factories. When the student movement explodes everything changes, even Rosa. In those incandescent months when faculties are occupied, the violence of batons and tear gas is unleashed, and the lashings of rebellion are savored, Rosa transforms into a young woman, goes to live in a commune, takes charge of her life and pays the price. Orienting herself between love and friendships, between the great classics of Marxism and a movement that wants to change the world, she meets another Rosa, Rosa Luxemburg, and with her she weaves a close relationship with moments of complicity and rupture, of identification and distance. The wind of the new feminism leads the “good girl” and her companions into unknown paths, makes their voices sharper, their struggle clearer and more autonomous. Rosa lives through the years of rebellion against the male order and participates in the assault on the sky of young women who seize with both hands the opportunity to become themselves, to change their lives and the lives of those who will come after them.
Musa e getta
Ponte alle Grazie
Sixteen women writers for sixteen great women.
In this astonishing collection, many of Italy’s most beloved and appreciated female writers recount as many “muses”: shameless and beautiful women or, on the contrary, meek and reserved ones who, for the space of a night or for their entire existence, have forged complex (and dangerous) relationships with successful men. Muses not always “thrown” but mostly misunderstood — thus giving substance to the odious saying that “behind every great man there is a great woman” — who thus return, at last, to the center of the literary stage. The pioneers of psychoanalysis and Kate Moss of a hundred covers, Kiki Queen of Montparnasse for a night and Maria Callas the Divine forever, Nadia Krupskaya working to bring socialism to fruition, Rosalind Franklin discovering the structure of DNA, the inspirers of painters, musicians, writers, philosophers: spanning different eras and places, happy and unhappy destinies, Muse and Throw arrives at the presence of living legends, even landed on Instagram, such as Amanda Lear. Sixteen first-rate authors reveal here as many wonderful women, offering readers a fresh look at the relationship between the sexes, female identity, and the struggle for emancipation.
The writers: Ritanna Armeni, Angela Bubba, Maria Grazia Calandrone, Elisa Casseri, Claudia Durastanti, Ilaria Gaspari, Lisa Ginzburg, Chiara Lalli, Cristina Marconi, Lorenza Pieri, Laura Pugno, Veronica Raimo, Tea Ranno, Igiaba Scego, Anna Siccardi, Chiara Tagliaferri.
The muses: Lou Andreas-Salomé, Luisa Baccara, Maria Callas, Pamela Des Barres, Zelda Fitzgerald, Rosalind Franklin, Jeanne Hébuterne, Kiki de Montparnasse, Nadia Krupskaja, Amanda Lear, Alene Lee, Dora Maar, Kate Moss, Regine Olsen, Sabina Spielr.
Andrà tutto bene
Today fear has a new name: Covid-19. To defeat it, the only way is to stay at home. Within the four walls that have always protected us and now, however, have become impassable boundaries. They have become almost an enemy. And instead, day after day, those who have always worked with words have discovered that the rooms, the windows, even the remotest corners of home are wings to the world. Each of them has thus chosen a way to bring this magic to life.
From their homes, twenty-six of Italy’s most prominent writers made sense of these days by choosing to face the emergency with the weapons of literature as well. To bring their everyday life to the readers who love them. And they decided to do it together with the Garzanti publishing house, donating all the proceeds to the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in Bergamo.
There are those who wanted to talk about their days, the established routines, the novelties that bring a smile. Of tears that cannot be stopped, but also of the force of nature that loosens the knot in the throat. Of forced cohabitation, as of distances from loved ones that seem insurmountable. Some tell of unknown neighbors who are no more, and of work that changes in its tools but not in its substance. Some admit the mistake of thinking that it could not all be true or give voice to the animals who, instead, are happy that it is all true. Others entrust reflections on these strange days to the voices of the beloved characters they created. All are sure that we will come out more aware of what is really important and that we will all meet, hug and walk together soon. They are sure that solidarity will be the value that we will carry with us without being able to do without.
All of them are convinced that words, books, stories, unite. They create invisible bonds that break all barriers. While we read, we are never alone. And we are strong. And everything looks the way it will. Because everything will be fine.
Mara. Una donna del novecento
Ponte alle Grazie
Mara was born in 1920 and was 13 years old when this story begins. She lives near largo di Torre Argentina. Her father is a shopkeeper, her mother a housewife. She has a best friend, Nadia, a staunch fascist, who takes her to hear the Duce in Piazza Venezia. She likes to read and would like to be a writer or journalist when she grows up. So many dreams and hopes run through her: to study Latin literature, to become beautiful and independent like her elegant Aunt Luisa, with her little hats and firm, quick step. The future seems within her grasp, safe beneath the portrait of Duce that stands in her living room between the two armchairs. This is what Mara thinks, and like her many other Italians who flock under His balcony in Piazza Venezia. Until doubt begins to work, to draw small cracks, to open wounds. Between the public and the private, History composes tragedies that rewrite individual and collective destinies, without exception. What remains is to obey one’s desires: in storms they keep afloat, and in blue skies they know how to draw the roads of tomorrow.
Una donna può tutto
Ponte alle grazie
They were called Night Witches. In 1941, a group of Soviet girls manage to win a leading role in the battle against the Third Reich. Rejecting all male presence, on fragile but agile biplanes, they show the daring, the courage of a war that can also have the face of women.
Their battle begins well before they take to the air and continues after victory. It begins in the corridors of the Kremlin, continues in the harsh months of training, explodes in the skies over the Caucasus, and ends with the stubborn replay of a memory that masculine History would like to erase.
Their real goal is emancipation, equality at all costs with men. Their enemy, even before the Germans, is prejudice, the distrust of their comrades, the oblivion into which they would like to confine them.
Against this oblivion writes Ritanna Armeni, who challenges all the “nets” of nomenclature until she finds the last witch still alive and reconstructs with her their incredible story.
It is Irina Rakobolskaya, 96, the deputy commander of the 588th regiment, who tells us the bold and crazy speech with which the national heroine Marina Raskova convinces Stalin himself to set up the regiments of aviators only. It is she who describes to us the cold and fear, courage and even love behind the 23,000 flights and 1100 nights of combat. And to narrate the war as only a woman could: “There is feeling, suffering and mourning, but there is also homeland, socialism, discipline and victory. There is patriotism but also irony; anger along with wisdom. There is friendship. And there is – very strong – the drive to win equality with men, desired so much – and this is not rhetoric – that she chose to die to get it.”